How to Install a Range Vent Hood

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Range Hood Use and Maintenance Tips

  • Wash the metal filter at least once a month in hot water and detergent. Rinse in cold water and let it completely dry before re-installation.
  • Filters should always be installed in the same direction. Look for imprinted arrows or instructions on the filter.
  • Clean the range hood with a sponge, warm water, and a mild detergent. Never use abrasive cleaners.
  • Most range hood fans are permanently lubricated and do not need re-oiling. However, consult the instructions to see if any lubrication is required.
  • Regularly clean inside of the duct to remove grease and other debris that may catch fire.
The Best Range Hoods to Improve Your Kitchen's Air Quality

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Is a vented range hood better than an unvented one?

Without question. It’s far preferable to vent the air outdoors than to recirculate it into the room. A vented hood that removes steam, smoke, heat, and cooking odors is the best way to keep your kitchen clean, since it gets rid of grease particles that would otherwise accumulate on your walls and cabinets.

Unvented range hoods do filter some grease and cooking odors from the air, but the general consensus is that they’re nowhere near as effective. Nor do they remove heat and humidity, so they won’t help keep your kitchen cool while you cook.

 Above: An industrial-style vent (made of ducting)
Above: An industrial-style vent (made of ducting) draws air up and out. For more, see Kitchen of the Week: A Proper English Kitchen with New England-Inspired Shiplap Paneling.

I’m updating my kitchen and need to replace an old Fasco hood. What type of hood would be compatible for my existing duct work?

Talk to your manufacturer to find out the duct size of your replacement hood. It should match the duct size of your Fasco hood. If not, you could end up with a duct that is too small. Then, the air will struggle to move outside your home. We recommend replacing your old hood with a hood that is the same CFM. That way, the air can move outside your home smoothly.

Step 4. Cut Through Wall

After marking the vent hole, and drilling a pilot hole completely through the wall, you are ready to cut the exterior wall.

How you proceed with this step will depend on whether you have a round or square vent duct and if you have a hard exterior wall surface such as brick or stone.

If you have vinyl siding, you may be able to cut the hole completely from the inside. But if you have brick, you will have to do some of the cut on the inside, and then some of the cut from the exterior. You will probably also have to use a hammer to get through the brick after cutting some perimeter holes.

Here are the two main methods of cutting the wall for a range hood vent…

Method #1: Drill Multiple Small Holes On Perimeter

There are two basic ways of cutting the range hood vent hole. The first method is to drill multiple small holes on the perimeter of the vent.

Depending on whether the vent is square or round, you will drill 7+ pilot holes on the perimeter of the hole which will give you an outline of the vent. You will then use either a reciprocating saw or mini circular saw to cut out the vent hole — simply connecting the ‘dots’ from the drill.

If the exterior wall has a brick or stone veneer, you will probably need to use a hammer to push through the stone.

When cutting from the interior, you can skip this step since it is just drywall, and you can use a mini circular saw or reciprocating saw to cut directly on the vent outline.

Method #2: Use A Circular Hole Saw

If you have a round range hood vent, you have the option of using a hole saw to drill through the exterior wall. Hole saws are basically circular or round drill bits with a hollow center. These hole saws allow you to quickly drill out a hole for a round range hood vent.

Some hole saws also have pilot drill bits in the center of the hole saw. The pilot drill bit allows you to center the hole saw, and it helps get it started cutting.

You probably will need to cut half of the hole from the inside, and the other half starting from the outside.

Read Also: What Are The Highest Rated Wall Mount Range Hoods?

Fan Motor Placement

Some range hoods sound like airplanes getting ready to take off, while others are virtually silent—it largely depends on the location of the fan motor. Read the packaging carefully, or research online before purchasing, to determine where the unit’s blower is located.

When the blower is built right into the hood, you can clearly hear it when it’s running. The stronger the fan, typically, the louder the noise, although some higher-end models are designed to minimize sound.

If you want a quieter stovetop-cooking experience, look for a range hood that comes with a remote blower. You’ll still turn on the fan the same way, via a switch on the hood, but the fan will be farther away from your range—often either midway in a duct or on the top of the roof, thereby buffering the noise. A remote blower is just one of many bells and whistles that will add to the cost of a range hood. But if your kitchen is open to the living or dining area, or if guests always seem to congregate in your kitchen, the desire to cook and converse without having to yell over a fan may be worth the extra dollars.

Need a hand with installation?Find licensed appliance technicians in your area and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project. Find local pros ++

Photo: istockphoto.com

Photo: istockphoto.com

Is there a cost difference between vented and unvented range hoods?

Prices for range hoods vary anywhere from around $80 to more than $2,000, depending on the size, manufacturer, and design. Many range hoods on the market can be used vented or unvented, so you’ll pay the same except for the added filter or conversion kit.

 Above: An under-cabinet range hood in Kitchen of
Above: An under-cabinet range hood in Kitchen of the Week: A Small Kitchen with Big Personality for Comedian Seth Meyers.

Does a range hood have to be vented outside?

It is ideal to vent your range hood to the outside. Ducted range hoods are much more efficient, powerful, and durable than ductless range hoods. But, it is not required. You can also purchase a ductless hood, which pulls air through charcoal filters and recirculates it back into your kitchen. Sometimes, this type of hood is ideal if you don’t have room for ductwork. It depends on your kitchen setup, but always consider a ducted hood over a ductless hood.

Final Thoughts

Installing a range hood vent through the wall isn’t necessarily for the faint of heart, and you may come across multiple problems as it is installed.

If you have a stone or brick veneer, it will make it even more difficult. You will probably need to cut out some perimeter holes with a drill bit, and then hammer through the brick.

In addition, you may open up the kitchen wall only to discover that you will need to move some piping, make a structural change, or use a flex pipe to route around it. That is why I always recommend cutting a very small access hole (just a few inches) so you can peek into the wall before cutting out a large piece.

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